Breathtaking views of Koh Phi Phi is the most popular of all the islands around Phuket, in fact, the guided trip will lead to two popular islands. First Phi Phi Don Island is where people stay overnight and use as a hub to get to all other exciting attraction surrounding there. Another island is Phi Phi Leh is the quieter where there is no overnight accommodation available only popular for its coves, caves and the famous Maya Bay.

Phi Phi Island, Phuket
Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands

A full day tour covers attractions such as Loh Samah Bay, Koh Mai Ton, Maya Bay, Pileh Cove, Viking Cave, Monkey Beach, Phi Phi Don, and Bamboo Island. Most of the tour departs from mainland Phuket by speedboat or regular big boats with free hotel pickup and dropoff, lunch, and snacks.

Don’t worry there are speed boat and ferries available from Ao Nang, Krabi, and Ko Lanta. Back in 2015, I took one of those exciting speed boat trips from Railay to Phi Phi Islands.

Day Trip from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands

Our guide picked us up at 8:00 am from our hotel in Patong and transfer to Phuket Rassada Pier from where we will start our day trip to Koh Phi Phi. A day with exciting activities such as swimming and snorkeling, sunbathing on white sandy beaches and visiting Viking Cave, a photo opportunity at Maya Bay and much more. We began our trip at 9:00 am by a Speedboat towards Phi Phi Islands.

First Stop at Koh Mai Ton

After about an hour of cruising through the Andaman Sea at high speed, we arrived at Mai Ton Island. This tiny untouched island is located about 7 miles (10 km) off the Southeast coast of Phuket. It’s crystal clear waters makes it one of the best reef for snorkeling. We started heading towards Maya beach after spending a little over half an hour of snorkeling.

snorkeling in Koh Mai Ton
snorkeling in the crystal clear water of beautiful Koh Mai Ton

Next Stop Maya Bay

First stop in Koh Phi Phi Leh island is the beautiful bay called Maya Bay. I was there before, first in 2008 and then again in 2015. This time 2019 they closed the beach for the recovery of coral reefs, mangrove forest, and the general ecosystem. Our boat anchored far away from the beach for photo ops.

Maya Bay, phuket, Thailand
The beautiful Maya Bay now closed for visitors!

If you are staying overnight at Phi Phi Don, then I would highly recommend taking the Maya Bay Sleepaboard tour. You will have the opportunity to sleep overnight in Maya Bay and access to a private beach to enjoy but no access to the Maya beach. The tour departs from Phi Phi Don main island at 3:00 pm and returns back the next day at 10:00 am.

Maya Beach
A view of Maya Beach

Loh Samah Bay

Loh Samah Bay is another great location for snorkeling in Shallow water. Best time to visit when the tide is high otherwise getting it there is difficult for Speedboats. Therefore, hire a longtail boat is the best bet. It was a similar adventure to the one we had at Koh Mai Ton. Oviously we spent a little less time at Loh Samah Bay.

Phi Phi Island, Phuket
A view of Phi Phi Island activities close to Loh Samah Bay
Long Tail Boat in Loh Samah Bay
Long Tail Boat in Loh Samah Bay

Hidden Pileh Cove

Next, we wanted to check out Pileh Bay a different lagoon where the water was unbelievably clear and extraordinary! Although we couldn’t make a stop there as we saw one of the speedboats got stuck due to the shallow water. Our captain stopped there for a photo op. Afterward we left for our next destination

Loh Samah Bay
Water is shallow. Therefore, In low tide Speedboats may have difficulties getting there.

Next Stop Viking Cave

We went around the Phi Phi Leh island to Viking Cave. Actually did not go inside the cave, just listened to the story of how bird’s nests are being collected and used for Chinese delicacy. Stopped only for few minutes, shot some pictures that’s all.

Viking Cave
Viking Cave is in Koh Phi Phi Leh island, famous for bird’s nests.

Lunch at Tonsai Beach

We reached the main Phi Phi Island around 12:30 pm and noticed that the beach was already quite crowded with other visitors. We enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch here before we had some extra time to explore the island. Along the main beach, we found numerous restaurants, street food stalls, and souvenir shops where we could leisurely stroll and check out the offerings.

Tonsai Beach, Koh Phi Phi Don
One of the popular and most visited beach on Phi Phi Don Island
Tonsai Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don
We had our buffet lunch here, included with our guided tour.
Tonsai Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don
A view of the Tonsai Beach from the restaurant we had our lunch!

Long Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don

The lovely, quiet beach that’s still within a walking distance from the Tonsai Village heart of the island – Long Beach is undoubtedly the best beach of Phi Phi islands.

If you like a quieter area to stay then Long Beach on Phi Phi Don Island is the option you can think of.

Long Beach, Koh Phi Phi Don
Long Beach, Koh Phi Phi Don

Monkey Beach in Koh Phi Phi Don

Our Next stop at the main Island called Phi Phi Don. The captain stopped at a small cove located on a peninsula on the island. Among many attractions of Phi Phi Island, monkey beach is one of the prominent ones among most visitors here.

Monkey Beach
In Phi Phi Don Island, monkey beach is the popular site to visit.

Our speedboat could not got close to the beach as the bottom surface of the ocean was shallow and rocky, so we had to swim or walk to the beach. The charming Long-Tailed Macaques comes down from the mountains nearby to welcome the tourists expecting to be fed. They are very friendly so if you are afraid of monkeys then not a good idea to venture out on your own.

Monkey Beach in Koh Phi Phi, Phuket
Long-Tailed Macaques not afraid of people in Monkey Island!

Koh Mai Phai (Bamboo Island)

About 30 minutes speedboat ride from Koh Phi Phi Don, this stunning Bamboo Island is pretty laid back and absolutely not overrun but day tripper. If you are looking for an escape to a secluded yet dreamy island then, Bamboo Island is your best bet. You will definitely love the white sandy beach and the crystal clear blue water.

Koh Mai Phai (Bamboo Island)
The Beautiful and peaceful Bamboo Island also known as Koh Mai Phai

There are no hotels or restaurants on the island but you can buy drink and snacks from a makeshift joint. Tents are available for rent If you want to camp overnight and have the island all by yourself.

Returning Back To Phuket

After a long day full of exciting activities it’s about time to return back to Phuket.

Bamboo Island from Phuket
After a long day of sightseeing time for us to return to Phuket

Where to stay in Phuket, Thailand

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Kata, Phuket

Katathani is an ocean-front resort is located near the beautiful Kata Noi Beach, one of the quietest beaches in Phuket. It is only 20 minutes ride to Patong and other touristy beaches and nightlife. All of the rooms and pools are very close to the beach. Although hiring a sun lounge is inexpensive, only 200 Baht for the day, few of them are available for resort guests complimentary. The rooms were spacious with modern, clean restrooms. We enjoyed our stay here especially the spectacular sunset scene was unforgettable.

Happy Holiday Resort & Apartments, Patong, Phuket

Happy Holiday Resort & Apartments is located near Patong Beach, not far from Bangla Road and within walking distance of the largest shopping mall (Jungceylon) in Patong. The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool and a garden, terrace, air-conditioned, and has a dining area and a seating area with a cable flat-screen TV. There’s also a kitchen in some of the units equipped with a microwave. I enjoyed staying there.

My Opinion and Last Word

Best viewpoints in Phuket 

Promthep Cape –  until the end of the day and enjoy a beautiful view over Phuket. Phromthep Cape is a popular and often busy tourist hub–but this shouldn’t distract from the incredible sunset views from Phuket’s southernmost point.

Karon Viewpoint – Confusingly named Karon Viewpoint, this viewpoint is in fact in Kata. Those who climb the steps to the top of the pavilion here on a clear day will be rewarded with sweeping views across Kata Noi Beach, Kata Beach, and Karon Beach in the north.

Food & Drinks

Natural Restaurant is located in the heart of Phuket town, serves delicious Thai and international food.

Mom Tri’s Kitchen is located in Kuta beach for the best dining experiences during your visit to Phuket.

Have you been to Phuket, Thailand? Any cool tips to share?

Over the years I have visited Thailand multiple times, but during this particular trip, I was flying out of Singapore to Phuket for 4 days then flying to Bangkok for a few more days. It was a great experience and definitely loved it. Hope my story has given you some idea and motivated you to plan a fall trip. 

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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